More news in brief

Published: Thursday | December 19, 2013 Comments 0

More cash coming for gov't pensioners

Government pensioners are to receive an increase in their pension benefits effective July 2013.

This is because Cabinet has approved the granting of an increase to government pensioners, including spouses and dependents of deceased officers.

The increase ranges from $1,280 to $2,650.

Minister with responsibility for information Sandrea Falconer said $500 million has been allocated to cover the increase.

As part of the improved benefits, widows and widowers will receive an increase of $1,620 per month, while dependents will get a $1,750 per-month increase.

Government pensioners last received an increase in July 2012.

Detainees on the move

PLANS ARE under way to remove persons in custody at the Central Police lock-up to the Horizon Remand Centre before year end.

The decision comes against the background of an instruction from the Public Health Department for the facility to be closed as a result of unsanitary conditions.

National Security Minister Peter Bunting said yesterday that the logistics were being worked out between the Correctional Services Department and the police to carry out the transfers.

"I hope that we'll be able to transfer those in custody to Horizon within a couple of weeks," Bunting told journalists at the weekly Jamaica House media briefing.

A recent tour of the lock-up by public-health officials and Custos of Kingston Steadman Fuller uncovered inhumane conditions that prompted one member of the touring party to describe the experience as "traumatic".

Chin for 'Today Show'

Jamaican singer Tessanne Chin is scheduled to appear on 'The Today Show' this morning.

'The Today Show' is a daily American morning-television programme that airs on NBC.

The American morning show has asked its viewers to turn out wearing their Jamaican colours at the NBC Plaza ahead of its 6 a.m. airing at the Rockefeller Center between 48th and 49th streets, 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue, New York City.

After 12 weeks, 12 songs, and thousands of votes, Chin emerged the winner of 'The Voice'.

Her Adam Levine-coached teammate, Will Champlin, was announced third-place and Jacquie Lee of Team Christina finished second.

'We're working on Ja's roads, Tessanne'

Reacting to a quip from Jamaican singer Tessanne Chin about the poor state of Jamaica's roads, deputy Chief Executive Officer at the National Works Agency Earl Patterson said the Government is addressing the matter.

In picking an SUV from a selection of motor vehicles offered as gifts to the finalists in the American song competition 'The Voice', Chin, the eventual winner, said in a pre-recorded footage Jamaica has "the worst roads".

Speaking during yesterday's post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Patterson admitted that the country's road network is in need of a lot of attention and said the Ministry of Transport and Works is making an effort to attend to critical areas, even amid budgetary constraints.

Patterson said $200 million from a recently announced $500-million road project would be used to facilitate repairs to 75,000 square metres of roadway.

Patterson said beautification activities are also included under the project to coincide with the Christmas season and the start of the winter tourist season.

Twenty-five new JPs commissioned

Twenty-five Justices of the Peace (JP) for the parish of Manchester were last Friday commissioned at a ceremony at the Golf View Hotel, Manchester.

Principal director of the Justice Training Institute, Professor George Belnavis, who was responsible for training this batch, made several pleas for the office and the responsibility of the JP to be taken seriously.

"There's a perception that justices of the peace merely sign documents. Indeed, they do that, but their roles and functions extend far beyond that. It is to them the police come when the police want summons and warrants to be signed, and I need not remind you of the significance of a little document you sign, at the bottom of which says, if you make a false declaration, you are liable to a fine of $3 million or two years' imprisonment, or a combination of both."

Labour ministry to develop HIV/AIDS workplace regulations

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is in the process of developing regulations stipulating how the issue of HIV/AIDS must by treated in the workplace.

Portfolio Minister Derrick Kellier said the regulations are expected to be guided by a White Paper on the National Workplace Policy on HIV and AIDS, which was approved by both Houses of Parliament in February this year.

He informs that the ministry is currently in the process of engaging the services of a draftsman to develop the regulations, which are to be appended to the proposed Occupational Safety and Health Act, being targeted for passage in the Houses of Parliament by the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year.


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